The controversial BELA Bill was adopted today in the National Assembly (NA), despite dissenting votes by the FF Plus, DA and ACDP.
This follows a months-long tug-of-war between the ANC and various interest groups that have taken their place alongside political parties in opposition to it.
The next step in the process is that Provincial Legislatures will consider the Bill seeing as provincial governments will be responsible for implementing it.
Seeing as public hearings were only held in three places per province, provinces may decide to follow their own, more comprehensive process.
It is only after the Provincial Legislatures have instructed their members of the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) that the body can vote on it.
Before the President promulgates the Bill into law with his signature, several legal actions could be expected.
The material objection to this Bill is that it violates the agreement of 1994 – and exposes its flaws as well.
What education actually needs is a multiplicity of cultural authorities that have power over, among other things, education.
Such authorities should not only manage education, but should also have a say in content, curricula and examinations. Then each school can decide under which authority it wants to subject itself.
The road South Africa is currently walking on is the only one possible in a unitary state: One on which there are constant clashes between groups that all want to have it their own way. That is precisely what lies at the very core of a unitary state: There can be only one authority and only one policy.
Self-determination, which includes cultural autonomy, among other things, is one way of defusing these kinds of clashes.
Today, however, the ANC decided to use its majority vote, which it will only have until the 2024 elections, to take the road of conflict.
Education deserves better than the ANC.